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So you would like to keeps pigs? I am passionate about pigs. They are the most charming of all our domestic livestock, arguably the most delicious, and certainly the most versatile. But there are a few things you have to do and consider.
1. If you live in Scotland you will have to register with (SEERAD) or if you live in England or Wales you have to register with (DEFRA) they will issue you with a (CPH) that's a County Parish Holding number and a HERD number (there is no charge for this).
2. Every time you move pigs on or off your holding, whether it is to sell them or take them to slaughter, you need to fill in a movement order and send it to your local trading standards (there is no charge for this either).
3. Large blacks are very hardy and will live outdoors all year round as long as they have shelter and warm bedding, a proper pig ark is best with plenty of dry straw in it . Or you can make your own, but a bit of advise, pigs love to chew wood so make it well. I recommend the type with a solid floor and removable top as they are easier to clean out and saves crawling in them to clean them.
4. Pigs are great clearing rough ground but once they have eaten all the greenery and chomped on all the roots you will have to move them to new pasture or feed them on pig pellets which are readily available. You can feed them on veg scraps, spoiled veg or fruit, garden waste, weeds and grass cuttings but under no circumstance are you allowed to give them any processed food scraps.
5. Pigs are very sociable animals and very intelligent I would never recommend just getting one always a minimum of two, they need company.
6. A little piglet / weaner will grow from 1 kilo to 100 kilo in 5 to 6 month and in those few month believe me, you will have become very attached to them. Unless you are going to breed them CAN YOU FACE TAKING THEM TO SLAUGHTER?
Finally. Buy the River Cottage : Pig in a Day with Hugh & Ray DVD it is a wealth of information with advice from keeping to butchering your pigs.
Dogs Look Up To You, Cats Look Down On You, But Pigs Treat You As Equals!
Winston Churchill 1874-1965
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